08/21/14

Edward J. McDonnell III: “Genteel genocide” continues against Schaghticoke

By Edward J. McDonnell III for Indian Country Today Media Network

A genteel genocide continues apace in Connecticut; not of a people, but of a long, proud heritage. The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation gained federal recognition in 2004 after 25 years of struggle.

Strident opponents exacted a heavy price: less-than-ideal financial backing from an investor seeking to build a third casino in Connecticut. Federal recognition and plans to construct an entertainment facility in Bridgeport only redoubled the state’s century-old campaign to exterminate the Schaghticokes.

Connecticut’s public leaders placed private agendas ahead of public fairness by browbeating the U.S. Department of the Interior into revoking that recognition last October.

Natives had better stand together with the Schaghticokes – emulating the recent show of solidarity by the gracious tribal council chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag – lest other hard-won sovereignties suffer similar overthrows.

In this case, appealing news copy of old-line Yankees defeating “ragtag” minions of casino thugs hid the real wrongdoing. . .

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2006/05/17/connecticuts-campaign-exterminate-schaghticokes-117672

04/25/07

Column: Backroom politics derail Schaghticokes

From Indianz.com:

“We know about all the press conferences, the showboat congressional hearings and the charges of corruption that dominated the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s long, unsuccessful fight for federal recognition.

Now, as the Schaghticokes, whose reservation is in Kent, make a final pitch to revive their case in federal court, it’s clear powerful forces were at work behind the scenes. Led by our congressional delegation, opponents went straight to the top in their effort to undo the tribe’s federal recognition.
In the spring of 2004, Margaret Spellings, then President Bush’s domestic policy adviser and now secretary of education, along with other senior aides, began a series of meetings with tribal opponents, including U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

That’s a top, trusted aide to the president, working with Schaghticoke opponents.
The tribal recognition process is required, by law, to be free from politics. A series of federal court rulings support this.

By the fall of 2005 the Schaghticoke recognition and that of another Connecticut tribe, the Eastern Pequots, was revoked, the first time the government reversed a decision like this.

There’s no proof Spellings put the fix in. But we know three loud voices against the Schaghticokes – Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons – were Republicans facing tough re-election races for their House seats in both 2004 and 2006. We know the White House was paying particularly close attention to Shays . . .”

Learn more: http://www.indianz.com/News/2007/005090.asp

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04/1/04

Federal lawmakers criticize Bureau of Indian Affairs

From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS –

. . . But House members were more critical of Connecticut’s efforts to get aid for towns that are fighting BIA tribal recognition decisions. Instead, said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., “I think it’s just the opposite. We shouldn’t give money to the towns, we need to give money to the tribes.”

He said states like Connecticut and its local leaders are trying to influence the recognition process “in a way that is inappropriate.”

Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., told the panel that the state is not anti-Indian and does not challenge the idea of tribal sovereignty. But she referred to the BIA’s recent federal recognition of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation in Kent, and said the agency did not adhere to its own regulations when making that decision.

“The BIA process has been an absolute travesty,” she said. “The standards absolutely have to be clarified and adhered to.” . . .

Read more: http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040401/NEWS01/304019982/0/SEARCH